Garment, textile industry keeps pace with Industry 4.0

A recent survey by the research group of the Vietnam National Textile and Garment Group and institutes at more than 300 garment enterprises across the country showed that most of them have been keeping up fairly well with the 4th industrial revolution in stages, including reducing labor, supporting in executive decision making, increasing productivity and quality and cutting time and production costs.

Garment and textile enterprises apply modern technology in production. (Photo: SGGP)

Garment and textile enterprises apply modern technology in production. (Photo: SGGP)

By applying modern technology, Vietnamese garment and textile companies have improved their productivities and meet the demand of choosy markets.

In fact, before the free trade agreements became effective, garment and textile industry had attracted several large investment projects. Many enterprises invested a large amount of money in order to adopt modern technology.

For instance, the Garment No.10 Corporation (Garco No.10) is considered to be the enterprise which succeeded in participating in global supply chain by applying modern technology in production and management early. At the present, 80 percent of its production is exported to the US, Germany and Japan.

Garco No.10 has 18 member factories at seven cities and provinces with around 12,000 workers. The company has applied information technology software in management. Owing to that, the production time of a product has been reduced from 1,980 seconds to 1,200 seconds and to merely 690 seconds per item now. Currently, each workers can control two machines instead two workers control one machine like before.

Thanks to technology solutions, Garco No.10 has raised productivity by 52 percent while reducing faulty goods ratio by 8 percent. In addition, the company has also cut working hours by one hour per day, increased income of workers by above 10 percent and lessened production cost by 5-10 percent per year.

An Hung Joint Stock Company has recently started construction of its project in Nam Phu Yen Economic Zone in Dong Hoa District in Phu Yen Province with total investment of nearly VND500 billion. The project includes three main factories with capacity of 8 million items annually, a suit factory with capacity of 600,000 sets annually, a woven factory to produce woven fabric and a knitting factory to produce fashion and sport clothes.

This project is expected to provide jobs for more than 4,000 local labors and reach an export turnover of around US$50 million per year.

Similarly, Regina Group, one of the world’s leading companies in designing and producing women’ clothes and sportswear for well-known brands, such as Victoria Secret, Adidas and Under Armour, started the Regina Hung Yen project which is expected to be finished at the end of this year with a capacity of 25 million items per year.

By investing in new technology and expanding scale, instead of receiving processing orders, these companies now are able to receive difficult orders like suit, jacket and underwear.

According to Mr. Le Tien Truong, vice chairman of the Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association, there are many enterprises investing in automation, gaining high precision. Extremely-difficult stages are done by robots, replacing up to eight workers at a same stage. Even sophisticated techniques of men’s suit-jacket are made by automated machines.

Experts said that for an export industry with a capacity of $45-50 billion each year, the fact that enterprises pay attention to sustainable development, quality of orders and quality of customers is a wise investment move.

However, the current core problems of the domestic garment and textile industry are extremely high cost, lack of knowledge and lack of suitable human resources. These are the main barriers that affect the application of achievements of the Industry 4.0 into Vietnam’s garment and textile industry.

Therefore, enterprises, whose financial resources are not strong enough, should partly invest in equipment using digital technology in simple and repetitious stages in production of complicated and high fashion products, such as jacket, suit and skirt. Along with investing in information technology platforms and factory management software like ERP and PLM, they should aim to build smart factories. Garment and textile industry should also develop Nano-thread, antibacterial and fire-proof products, factory management software and 3D apps in product personalization. 

Moreover, enterprises need to improve knowledge and skills of human resources in garment and textile industry and train the human resources to serve the application of the 4th industrial revolution into the industry by opening more disciplines in the direction of interdisciplinary. 

By Lac Phong – Translated by Thuy Doan

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